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Cec recives the National Award for the Encouragement of Writing
Cec was the inaugural recipient of the National Award for the Encouragement of Writing, given at the Southern Christian Writers Conference. He's pictured with Joanne Sloan.
Cec with Cindy Jones
After receiving a discouraging critique at a conference a decade ago, Cindy Jones was ready to quit. Cec encouraged her to not give up on her writing dream. “So glad I listened,” she said. She’s been writing regularly ever since. Here's Cec with Cindy at the Southern Christian Writers Conference.
Cec with Crystal Byrd
Cec and Crystal Byrd ham it up at the Southern Christian Writers Conference.
Cec with Joshua Inman and Christine Sneeringer
Cec is with Joshua Inman and comedian Christine Sneeringer at the Hope for Wholeness Conference in NC.
A Driven Man
“What drives you?” Victor Oliver, my editor, asked 30 years ago. (I had written 35 books for his publishing house in six years.)
“I guess it’s because I have a lot of energy.” I wasn’t introspective enough to understand the question, let alone respond properly.
If I were to answer him today, I’d say something like this: “I need to prove to myself that I’m worthwhile.”
I had a rotten childhood—not that different from many others—with a history of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse. Feeling neglected and unwanted—all the classic symptoms. I compensated (unaware, of course) by becoming an overachiever.
People often commended me on my prodigious output, and I relished hearing that. Today I say, “That wasn’t normal; I was driven.”
The upside of this is that the trauma of childhood has enabled me to say, “Only by the grace of a loving God have I been able to admit my drivenness and to make it a positive factor.”
I’m learning to accept who I am. Being a writer is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done. Each morning I now say to myself: “I’m working less and enjoying my life more. I’m learning to say yes to Cec.”
The test came after I received a last-minute invitation to speak for one hour at the Hope for Wholeness Conference near Asheville, NC. Comedian Christine Sneeringer set it up and volunteered to drive. “Why don’t we go whitewater rafting on the way?” she asked.
“I don’t have the time. I need to get back to a book deadline.” That was my answer; it was the first week after I began my self-talk. Minutes later I thought about my words. I contacted Christine and said yes. We went whitewater rafting (and Twila posted a picture to prove it).
I wrote this after wondering how many other driven people need to reserve time for themselves.
I’m learning to say yes to myself.
I'm learning to say YES to myself.
Personal News
  • I’m working fewer hours and enjoying my life more. I have no out-of-town trips planned until late September.

  • I preached June 19 in my home church, and I’ll teach a combined Sunday school class on July 10. Just enough activity not to be bored.

  • I’m reading more than ever. For example, I promised myself years ago to read at least one classic novel a year. I read two last month.  
The Twila Zone--Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
I can honestly say that while working with Cec I've lost all my hair. Is it because I've pulled it out? That makes for a good story, doesn't it? Instead, it's one of the many bonuses that come with chemo. No more bad hair days for me!
Plenty of challenges accompany treatment for breast cancer—some that limit my ability to do normal, everyday things. But there are important and purposeful things I can still do, and while sitting in my recliner. I can talk to God. I can write. I can keep Cec in line. I can take selfies. (See picture on the left.)
Because I believe God doesn’t waste anything, I’ve said all along since receiving my diagnosis that He has good plans in this. I’m delighted to report that God has proven Himself once again. Last week the acquisitions editor from my publisher for Raindrops from Heaven contacted me and asked if I might be willing and able to write three new books for them. Yes, it was definitely a barefoot moment for me. God blew my socks off!
Over the past few months, I’ve also been a panelist for The Writers View (an online discussion group for writers), and I’m a regular contributor to Positive Note Magazine (a new bi-monthly magazine through Positive Note Network).  
If you’d like to receive occasional health updates from me, click on my Care Pages link. You’ll need to create an account to log in first. Here’s my most recent post. 
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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